Yearly Archives: 2009

Ellen Von Unwerth – Fraulein

If I have a crush on any female photographer it is Miss Ellen Von Unwerth. No other photographer photographs women as beautiful, fun and as saucily as Ellen. Her photographs are packed with colour, kohl eyed women with sleek groomed hair and her black and whites push contrast to new levels. Ellen rocks.
Taschen have released a limited edition called Fraulein, a little out of my price range at 1200 Euros but I hope the good folk over at Taschen will release it eventually at a friendlier price. Great Christmas present….
Ps if you are in Paris on the 22nd of December, Ellen will be signing copies at the Taschen store in the 6th…

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I Love Sante

My credit card is still warm from my lastest purchase by one of my favourite photographers, Sante D’Orazio. I have flicked through D’orazio’s first book A Private View so many times that is now lovingly dog eared and has the appearance of a much used cook book. Sante’s latest offering, Barely Private, is more of his fun filled photos of celebrities, fashion and sexy woman. I love his photos they feel candid like snaps (but I am sure they are not) and rolled together in a diary style with D’orazio’s personal notes it is one of those books that you will always pick up. Like peaking into someone’s private life. I love all his self portraits too…………………

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Halloween Paris

On streets of the Marais yesterday afternoon!!! Happy Halloween. Carla x

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September Issue

Have you ever dreamed of becoming a fashion photographer. Throwing in your day job and living in a world of models, magazines and beauty just like Richard Avedon, Craig McDean and Mario Testino. Of travelling to exotic locations and creating photos out of this world with the world’s best stylists and most prestigious magazines.

If you do, my advice is NOT to see the new documentary September Issue. Even though I have been living in the photography world for the best part of ten years this movie made me feel like laying down my camera – it was like seeing everything you dreamed of in cold hard daylight and Madame Wintour’s daylight is about as warm as a winter’s day.

September Issue, follows American Vogue’s Editor Anna Wintour and her collaborators as they put together the biggest September Issue in Vogue history. Anna Winter in the fashion world has rock-star status but it is her side kick Grace Coddington who breathes life and beauty into the fashion with her incredible style working with worlds best photographers. Whilst Madame Coddington is out at the coal face, pouring love, sweat and tears into creating the most beautiful fashion photos possible, Madame Wintour back at the office cuts through the results with a machete, passing over some of the most beatiful photos ever created as though they were rotten apples, reducing them to the cutting room floor because the garments aren’t in ‘colour’, don’t appeal to Madame Wintours taste or aren’t pin sharp – emotion isn’t something that interests Madame Wintour. We see hundreds of thousands of dollars hit the rubbish bin as Madame Wintour trashes entire photographic stories.

Madame Wintour was the famous inspiration for the film ‘The Devil Wears Prada’ and in someways I feel that the film was actually kinder to her than this documentary. We see the real story, the way jackets are featured in her magazine not because they inspire her but so the stores can sell more, the way she waves away entire designers ranges because they don’t have any coloured garments in them and how she promises retailers she will ‘talk to the designers’ about paring down their ranges. Is Anna god or does she just think she is?

We all have our dreams, I have almost bought every issue of Vogue Italia (almost never American Vogue – can’t bare the cheesy smiles) since I started photography. My dream would be to work for Italian Vogue. I don’t think two editors could be any different. Franca Sozzani is known as the photographer’s angel and she would probably pick up off the cutting room floor all the photos Madame Wintour threw out. Vogue Italia chooses photographers who put emotion into their photos, movement and blur is often chosen over pin sharp because it gives the story emotion. Franca Sozzani in an interview with Liberation says – that the photo and the feel comes first, it is not important if you can see the dress or not. She has supported and promoted photographers such as Paolo Roversi with his blurry soft focused images, who has inspired photographers like myself to search for something other than pin sharp. Peter Lindbergh’s gorgeous black and white images of women have also been a regular feature in Italian Vogue, Ellen Von Unwerth has packed incredible spirit into her images and Steven Meisel has been allowed a free hand since Sozzani’s inception (and the models don’t have to smile)! Deborah Turbeville is allowed to create wistful photos in extraordinary settings.

I ask what wonderful images could Grace Coddington produce if she had another editor? What if Grace Coddington worked for Italian Vogue, what magic they could make?

RJ Cutler, the director does a brilliant job, September Issue reminds you that the fashion industry is exactly that, an Industry with a capital I. Anna Wintour shows herself to be closer to a ruthless Rupert Murdoch than a true lover of beauty, the bottom line is about bucks.
Maybe RJ Cutler would like to turn his camera on another Vogue, maybe Italian Vogue, something that will warm our photographers hearts instead of filling them with fear.

If you want to be a fashion photographer get this months ITALIAN VOGUE and get inspired!!

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Goodbye Mr. Penn

Tonight I raised a toast to the passing of one of this century’s greatest photographers. Not actually to his passing but a toast of respect to a man who has done more than his share for photography (and bothered to live to 92 years of age to leave us an even greater legacy of his gorgeous work).

Irving Penn, was the master of the elegant studio image in black and white. Renowned for stark, simple and engaging images of fashion, he created magnificent silhouettes of models and photographed an outstanding 150 Vogue covers. Penn rarely shot on location, he loved to photograph heads of states, artist, tribesman and the man on the street in front of his mottled grey backdrop. I believe Irving Penn has inspired many great studio photographers including the likes of photographic gods, Richard Avedon and Paolo Roversi.

Irving Penn was said:

“Many photographers feel their client is the subject,” he explained in a 1991 interview in The New York Times. “My client is a woman in Kansas who reads Vogue. I’m trying to intrigue, stimulate, feed her. … The severe portrait that is not the greatest joy in the world to the subject may be enormously interesting to the reader.”

Thanks Mr Penn for trying to so hard to please that woman in Kansas! Along the way you pleased the entire photographic world and inspired thousands of photographers. Merci beaucoup.

Rest in peace, you have done more than enough.




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